Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 5


Bumper stickers are funny.  Sometimes they're stupid ("9/11 was an inside job") and sometimes they're silly ("Visualize whirled peas") but just the concept is pretty funny.  One day, 40 years or so, somebody thought, "Let's think of some pithy statement that defines our whole lives or, barring that, "I love Joe's Crab Shack!" and let's make it so sticky that it will NEVER come off, and let's stick it on the back of the car that represents the second most expensive thing we own.

I wish I could have gotten a picture of the little hatchback that started this line of thinking.  It cut in front of me on the way to work yesterday, maybe because the back windshield was artistically covered with bumper stickers, apparently representing a variety of goth bands.  The front windshield had 6 bumper stickers on it--also strategically arranged--which I am pretty sure is not legal.  (Is it still called a bumper sticker if it's on a window?)

I know that many people express their most deeply held values on these tiny sticky billboards.  Austin is definitely a bumper sticker city, mostly announcing blue-state sentiments in the middle of the reddest state in the country.  (Some of them would invite vandalism in Odessa or Beaumont or Dime Box.)  At Mowgli's school, it seems that every other car has the "Coexist" sticker on it.  When we lived in Clear Lake, the back window stickers displaying your child's name and all his/her extracurricular activities were requisite.  Here, it's the tie-dyed "Keep Austin Weird."

I understand what motivates the political ("HOPE") or value-driven ("Abortion stops a beating heart") or religious ("Honk if you love Jesus!") or school spirit ("Sic 'Em Bears").  But every now and then, I see a bumper sticker proclaiming something like "I *heart* TCBY" and I wonder, "Really?  You love frozen yogurt enough to make it the singular statement of your life and then display it on your car?  Really? That's the best you've got?"  I can be fairly judgmental.

In the last presidential election, I saw a bumper sticker that I really liked and considered getting it until I remembered that I am aesthetically opposed to sticking things on my car.  Antipathy toward bumper stickers trumped civic pride.  If I ever DO get a bumper sticker, though--which I never will--my favorite is one that came out about a decade ago.  It reads, "God bless the whole world.  No exceptions."  Amen.

5 comments:

Crystal said...

I laughed so hard when you wrote: "Austin is definitely a bumper sticker city, mostly announcing blue-state sentiments in the middle of the reddest state in the country. (Some of them would invite vandalism in Odessa or Beaumont or Dime Box.)". Actually, I have been one of those persons TEMPTED to vandalize another's car because of their bumper sticker. LOL. Luckly, I was only tempted.

I swore I wouldn't put anything on my car either....but now, I try to promote my business and hopes no one vandalize my car because they don't like Mary Kay. HA! And every now and then, It bugs me that I have it on there and I have inner struggle of taking them off or not.

I am sure when I am in heaven, this will all be a mute ponit. :)

Jenny C said...

When I was in high school someone punked my car with a "proud to be gay" bumper sticker that I drove around with all day long for a full day until my dad asked me if I had something to tell him. hahahah

I haven't liked bumper stickers since. It was a humiliating day for a high schooler.



AMEN

Siahsmom said...

I was actually thinking about it a couple days ago- a car in front of me had only one- "Obey Gravity- it's the Law!"

I said no and started singing "Defying Gravity" :)

Anonymous said...

You'd be surprised at who believes 9/11 was an inside job (or at the very least that it was allowed to happen)--extremely intelligent people who have done extensive research.
Signed,
Someone you speak to almost every week

Electric Monk said...

I saw a weird one the other day, "Vote the Bible!" All I could think was, "The Bible's running for office?"